This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia, which closed in 2021.

Conversations With Teen Mums: The Documentary Series Looking At The Bigger Picture

"I was like, 'I'm too young to be a mum'."

At age 16 Oshyn fell pregnant. Just two years shy of the age her mother was when she had her.

"She was like, 'Oh, but I'm too young to be a grandmother!' And I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm too young to be a mum'," Oshyn said.

Her story is one of 16 shared in a new interactive documentary series by Juliette Veber called Conversations With Teen Mums.

The series looks at the experience of young New Zealand women who have been forced to face motherhood well and truly before they themselves have really grown up.

"In my first year of high school, my mum was going through a lost phase. And we wanted to live with our dad, because he finally decided he wanted to be there for us," Oshyn explains.

"He was good for a few months and then yeah, stuff just changes. He was hardly around and when he was he was angry,

"And he'd always pick on my little brothers and I'd get mad. I wanted to tell someone but I couldn't. I had a feeling they'd take us away from my dad. I didn't want us to be split up between families and stuff.

"I'd seen it happen before in our family. That's why I didn't like school. I didn't want to cause trouble. I just didn't want to be there."

Family violence and disruption had an immense effect on Oshyn. That interest she lost in school meant her focus was on "today and tomorrow". She spent most of her days skipping school and drinking.

When she got pregnant that all stopped.

"My mum had me when she was 18. She was going to have an abortion, because she was scared. But once she told her family, because of all the support she had, she realised she didn't need to take someone's life away for a dumb reason," she said.

"That's practically why I didn't have an abortion, because I was thinking, 'Well, if my mum did that I wouldn't be here. So why would I take all that away from someone else?'"

Although the series confronts the inevitable emotional and financial challenges young mums face, it also shares the silver linings.

For Oshyn, her priorities shifted. She's now actively looking to join the police force and is determined her son Devante will be educated and learn to love learning.

"A lot of people have noticed that he's quite an intelligent child. I want to provide him with as much as I can to help nurture it. I want him to think, 'Learning's cool and learning's fun'," she said.

"When I grew up education wasn't a big thing in my family. It was more, you know, 'Work, work, work'. And then, if you didn't make it into work then you kind of had the benefit as a back-up. And I don't want that as an option for him."

You can watch Conversations With Teen Mums, created by Juliette Veber and produced by Vicky Pope, here.

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact